‘Make America Great Again': The musical

January 13, 2016

It’s nothing new for presidential candidates to get in trouble for using campaign music without getting permission from the musicians. This time, though, there’s a pair of professional crooners who want a candidate to use their music out on the trail. Indeed, they’ve gone so far as to record a song based on Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”, and to give Reuters exclusive access to the finished version. Their goal: for Trump to use the song in his presidential campaign. You can download it , or listen to it here:

The musicians, Lee Hilliard and Scott Brooks, are seasoned performers: Hilliard is based in Nashville and is a member of the country music singer Loretta Lynn’s touring band. Brooks is the co-publisher of “Who let the dogs out” and a producer of the original version.

Hilliard on stage with Lynn. Courtesy Mike Payne

Hilliard on stage with Lynn. Courtesy Mike Payne

Hilliard, who is hoping Trump will hire him and a band of Nashville musicians to play at the beginning of his campaign rallies, said the idea of the slogan song first began to germinate one night near the end of a show he was performing with Lynn, when, during some routine banter, he looked out at the roaring audience cheering for the 83-year-old star.

“I said, ‘I bet everyone in here would vote for you if you ran for president,’” Hilliard said. “She said, ‘well I like the guy who’s campaigning right now, Donald Trump.’”

Hilliard said he and Lynn have since adopted the routine as a standard for their shows.

“I usually say something like, ‘Well, you’d make a great vice president.’”

Love it or hate it, the song is less typical sap-filled ballad than something of an earworm.

“Make America great again, oooooh,” goes the chorus, which is interspersed with verses conjuring iconic American landscapes. One verse begins: “Future born in the valley of silicon/Rise high on the Ave of Madison…”

Another refrain: “I don’t see the world through your jaded eyes.”

There’s one thing glaringly absent from the lyrics: The name Trump. Brook said in an interview on Tuesday the omission was deliberate. He thinks the slogan shouldn’t be limited to Trump supporters alone.

“I like the concept that Donald Trump has made his campaign theme making America great again, but I think everybody in America wants to make America great again or at least improve it so that it’s better for our children,” Brooks said.

“Although I think Donald Trump has done a good job expressing that as a general concept for his campaign, my belief is that every American should want America to be as great as it can possibly be, regardless of their political beliefs.”

Hilliard said even if things don’t go anywhere with the “Trump tour” idea, he’s still trying to get major telecom companies to offer the song to users as a cell phone ringtone.

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